Freedom Folks

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Who Makes This About Race?

Source: Dusty Inman
Chip Rogers defends immigration enforcement

MARIETTA - State Sen. Chip Rogers (R-Woodstock) said Friday that his Immigration Compliance Act, which takes effect July 1, is not new law but reinforces federal laws already on the books.

“I find it somewhat puzzling that Congress seems to be caught up in immigration reform,” he said, adding that Congress has yet to enforce its existing immigration laws.

“It is not simply a federal issue,” Rogers told a crowd gathered for Kennesaw State University’s Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice Suburban Conference. “The states are the ones that have to deal with this problem.”

Rogers said his immigration act, passed during the 2006 legislative session, tackles immigration enforcement at every level, from employment policies to law enforcement and state and federal benefits eligibility.

“This impacts (immigration enforcement) through every area,” he said. “No other state has passed the comprehensive bill like we did.”

Rogers said the act mandates that state agencies verify employees’ immigration status through an Internet-based Basic Pilot Program, as well as verification of employers with state contracts.

People who apply for state and federal benefits like welfare also will be checked using the Systematic Alienation Verification Entitlement program to determine their citizenship status.

Rogers said Georgia State Patrol officers will be certified in immigration law training and people accused of felonies and drunken driving would be checked for deportation alerts.

“You need to come here legally,” Rogers said.

Dr. Ernesto Silva of the University Department of Foreign Languages said he came to the United States 20 years ago from Peru.

Now a legal U.S. citizen, Silva said he is concerned that enforcement of this magnitude would breed resentment among the up-and-coming generation of Latinos.

He said through increased law enforcement, parents could be deported from their children who are legal, naturalized American citizens, and foster anger among young Latinos affected, making it less likely for them to assimilate and embrace American culture.

Immigrants are being criminalized,” (ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS -- ed, sheesh, this guys a professor?) he said. “They’re afraid. This creates another issue.”

Silva said there is too much focus on enforcement and deportation and not enough on helping illegal aliens become legal citizens.

“Most illegal immigrants come to work,” he said. “I can see the fear in Latinos right now. They’re being too harsh on a group of people who are quite vulnerable.”

Rogers said the laws are not new or enhanced mandates, simply laws that have been on the federal books for some time that need to be enforced before more unused laws are passed.

He added the immigration act is not targeting Latinos or Hispanics, but illegal immigration.

“I don’t care what color you are or religion you are,” he said. “None of that matters.”
It is people like this professor, by his sheer unwillingness to see beyond race, who make this more and more likely...
But unyielding resistance from the newer immigrant groups, from business interests that exploited them, and from the traditionalists who feared any increase in the powers of government, blocked all action. The problem was allowed to fester and grow-until a wave of national hysteria brought into being a system that was extravagantly protective and demeaningly racist. Hispanic leaders, chambers of commerce, and civil libertarians should take note."

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